Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has indicated that as from Friday, it will reopen all its branded stores in China almost a month after the company shuttered them following the outbreak of coronavirus. The stores closed early last month after China banned travel as a measure of combating the spread of COVID-19, but the stores have been reopening gradually in the last few weeks.
Apple reopens all 42 branded stores in China
The iPhone maker indicated that the closure of its stores in China was the reason the company cut its quarterly revenue guidance last month. China is one of Apple’s largest markets, and although cases of new coronavirus infections seem to stabilize, the company could be hit elsewhere as new cases are reported in other countries. For instance, in Italy, the number of cases has been growing, prompting the government to impose a lockdown, and this week Apple shuttered all its 17 stores in the country.
All the 42 stores in China are now open despite a previous advisory on the company’s Chinese website, indicating that not all were open.
Speaking about the reopening of the stores in China, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated two weeks ago that it appeared that the coronavirus situation in China was getting under control. He added that when looking at the numbers of new cases, they were reducing every day, which was a good sign. Cook also said that its suppliers had started reopening their factories whose closure had led to the company lowering its guidance because it anticipated supply constraints.
Apple sales affected in China because of COVID-19
In late January, China imposed restrictions on travel and requested residents to avoid going to public spaces. This was just before then Lunar New Year, which is a very important holiday for the Chinese to give gifts, which meant that there would be very little shopping during the period.
Following the restrictions that lasted through most of last month, there was little business. For instance, Apple only sold less than half a million iPhones last month because concerns of the virus reduced demand for iPhones.